Earlier this year I designed and illustrated a book by author Kate Liston-Mills, Dear Ibis, a collection of short stories published by Spineless Wonders. Kate’s stories are suffused with similar emotions and fears that I am exploring in my current works, they also include birds as messengers and it felt very serendipitous to be working with her.
I asked Kate if she could write a mini-series of microfiction specifically for a small installation in my upcoming exhibition: Requiem for a Canary. The texts were printed on the risograph printer and became quite dark and bleak – I chilled myself when I put them all together. Kate’s texts and the installation are reflecting on the little birds used in coalmines to alert miners of toxic gases. Their more sensitive lungs meant they would die before the humans. A dead bird alerted miners to leave immediately.
What if we are the canaries?